Well, about WorldCon in London…
I had to do it — I had to cancel out entirely.
It turns out that my radiation therapy won’t be completed in time.
Originally, I wasn’t even going to get radiation therapy at all. Back when I was first diagnosed in December, it looked like I’d be getting a mastectomy, and hey — no radiation with a mastectomy, because nothing remains to irradiate! So… with a mastectomy and plenty of time to heal, I would have been all set by the time WorldCon rolled around. My chemo would be only once every three weeks by then, and the trip would fit so neatly in one of those gaps…
But, as you know if you’ve been following my adventures, the chemotherapy worked brilliantly, and the tumor shrank and shrank and basically surrendered to Science! About which: hooray. So, no mastectomy after all — but a lumpectomy instead (also called a partial mastectomy).
And lumpectomies, as my oncologist puts it “come with radiation therapy.”‘
And I’m very much in favor of a lumpectomy instead of a mastectomy. I usually prefer not cutting off parts of my body that don’t need to be cut off! A quirk of mine, I admit.
However, the timing knocked WorldCon off the calendar.
I had the surgery on June 5. One has to wait until one is completely healed before starting the radiation. This usually takes four to six weeks.
I was hoping that I’d be one of those rare people who heal super-fast, and could be ready for radiation in three weeks, but — nope. I’m two days shy of that three weeks, and I’ve still got swelling and fluid and all that stuff. Could not possibly start radiation yet. At least another week, if not more, to heal.
Then the radiation will be six weeks of daily sessions. I just won’t be done in time.
So, I asked the programming committee to remove me from the program.
It’s disappointing, but in the grand scheme of things: I win! Because: successful chemo, successful surgery, no cancer left — Yeah, that’s definitely winning!
Just, no Worldcon.
However… just in case… I have held on to my membership (as a non-program, regular attending member), and I’m still going to pay for my portion of the hotel room Sabine and I were going to share. Just in case, that is, the radiation oncologist inexplicably declares me done early (which almost never happens), and I feel really great (instead of massively fatigued from the treatments, which is far more likely), and I am suddenly possessed of a what-the-hell attitude — if all those ifs magically came together at once, I could buy a last-minute plane ticket and show up as a plain old attending member, just a fan among fans.
That would be cool.
But practically impossible, really.
But just in case, I do still have my membership.
But it almost certainly won’t happen.
For those of you who were coming to Worldcon, and who were hoping to see me, meet me, or hang with me — I’m sorry, but I just can’t do it.
If you’re based in the States, you can catch me at Readercon — and I’m open to suggestions for other conventions in or after September, when the radiation will be over.
If you’re based in Great Britain or Europe — I’m currently looking for some other convention to hit on your side of the Atlantic, after the radiation. Tina Monk has suggested Eastercon, April 3-6 2015. Any other ideas?